Book-in-Progress

Interested publishers and supporters please contact me at cherryllsmith@gmail.com

Book-in-Progress

Framing Israel
how Israel is framed by media, at universities, and on the world stage
           
    In 2000, after visiting Israel for the first time, my life took a turn I could not have predicted. The voices dominating at universities so dramatically conflicted with what I had just observed in Israel that suddenly I was out of synch, for the first time outside the mainstream of my familiar academic and Berkeley world. Eventually I began to investigate, making use of my own academic field, Rhetoric and Composition, for it gave me tools to describe the cognitive dissonance I had felt and to analyze the rhetoric I encountered.
            Framing is part of our natural thinking process as we sort out and classify information; it is also a way of describing how media sort, classify and present their material. Academics in a number of fields use “rhetorical framing analysis” to notice patterns of language, at times outlining limitations, slant, or bias.  
            I identify the interconnected frames that appear with great frequency in the rhetoric about Israel and that easily create misleading, fallacious claims. I’m interested in highlighting the frames so that our attention is drawn to them.  For, we may not notice how a story or argument is framed because we are naturally focused on the content, just as we don’t pay attention to a picture frame but to the picture it encloses. 
            Of course, you can find instances where this framing of Israel is not operating but these particular perspectives are increasingly significant because they occur regularly in places of the greatest influence: in mainstream media, where the frames are broadcasted in their mildest form; at universities where they appear in a stronger and more abstract language; and at world forums like the United Nations, where an extreme kind of rhetoric shows up.
           This does not mean that Israel, like other countries, does not have a good supply of problems of its own making. Nor will I propose that we replace these fallacious frames with other more Israel-friendly distortions through which to view the Jewish state. I’m advocating here for a freer thinking about Israel, one unconstrained by the limits of this dominant framing. For, the negative framing of Israel ultimately makes the achievement of peace a far more distant possibility.


4 comments:

  1. You Ms. Smith, are a very refreshing "find". Please keep up your good, and important work.

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  2. Can't wait to read this book! When do you expect it to be available?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I have a few more chapters to complete. Will keep posting updates on Framing Israel.

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